Tuesday Tunes: August 2016

It’s the last Tuesday of the month, so here’s the soundtrack to my past few weeks.*

Original Broadway Cast, American Idiot!

When this musical came out on Broadway I listened to the cast album a lot, but I think it's been since then that I've clicked on it. This past month it came up on shuffle and I remembered why I liked it in the first place – it hits the alternative rock spot from my '90's youth and adds a Broadway sheen.

Original Broadway Cast, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Hmmm… a little Broadway-rock heavy this month. I read some depressing story about how much we're screwing up the environment and “Second Nature” came into my head. So I listened to it. Then I listened to the whole album. Then I listened again.

The Decemberists, Crane Wife

Indie rock concept album told out of order about a man who finds a woman who is also a crane, marries her, forces her to live as a human, almost kills her, and lets her go. I didn't get this album for maybe the first year I owned it, but then “Oh, Valencia” came on just at the right time and I was hooked.

The Left Banke, “Walk Away Renee”

There were a few months when I was working on a chamber rock musical and this song was everything. When I stopped working on the musical I purposefully stopped listening to chamber rock as well to clear my head, but I kept coming back to this song. Maybe it's the harpsichord? The lush vocal harmonies? The flute solo?

Kanye West, 808s & Heartbreak

Research for my current project. My voice teacher friends roll their eyes when the subject of autotune comes up, but Kanye's blatant use of it is in a whole other category. It doesn't hide his vocal imperfections, it serves to disassociate himself from himself, to vocally show the sadness and trauma he's trying to emerge from. Yeah, this album's a bit of a downer. But there are moments that absolutely shine through the darkness. It's the strings in “Robocop.” The ¾ time signature of “Street Lights.” The electronic snares of “Love Lockdown.” Is depressed Kanye the best Kanye? Quite possibly.

What’s been coming out of your earbuds this month?

*Yeah, it's actually the first Saturday of September as I post this. Better late than never!